Bible Birds – Masked Lapwing

CHA-Char Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) at Lowry Park Zoo 3-27-2018

Both times the Lapwing is mentioned in the Bible, it is in the “Do Not Eat” lists in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)
And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

We were at Zoo Tampa (new name of Lowry Park Zoo) several years ago. We saw the Masked Lapwing again and I always enjoy that look he has. The Yellow mask make him quite attractive, don’t you think?

“The masked lapwing is the largest representative of the family Charadriidae. It measures from 30 to 37 cm (12 to 15 in) in length and has a wingspan of 75–85 cm (30–33 in). The nominate subspecies (V. m. miles) weighs 191–300 g (6.7–10.6 oz), while the southern race (V. m. novaehollandiae) is larger and weighs 296–412 g (10.4–14.5 oz). The subspecies from northern Australia and New Guinea (V. m. miles) has an all-white neck and large yellow wattles with the male having a distinctive mask and larger wattles. The subspecies found in the southern and eastern states of Australia and in New Zealand (V. m. novaehollandiae), and often locally called the spur-winged plover, has a black neck-stripe and smaller wattles. (Note that the northern-hemisphere spur-winged plover is a different bird.)

The birds have a wide range of calls which can be heard at any time of the day or night: the warning call, a loud defending call, courtship calls, calls to its young, and others. Since this bird lives on the ground it is always alert and even though it rests it never sleeps properly.” [Wikipedia – Masked Lapwing]

A masked lapwing blinking the left eye (the nictitating membrane is used rather than the eyelids). Note origin of the membrane from the medial canthus. Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Eye ©WikiC

It is always amazing to see the different ways the Lord created His birds. Even how this Lapwing blinks show design and not something that just happened.

We see them frequently in many Zoos. Next time you are visiting a zoo, see if they have the Lapwings. If you are living in Australia or New Zealand, you can look for them in the Wild.

Bible Birds – Lapwings

Bible Birds

Wordless Birds

Bible Birds – Holding On With My Feet

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) Viera Wetlands 12-26-17

Holding On With My Feet

“I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.” (Psalms 119:101 KJV)

While birdwatching at the Viera Wetlands in Florida, we spotted this Tricolored Heron. He was watching and waiting to find his lunch swim by. The way his feet grabbed the plants was interesting.

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) Viera Wetlands 12-26-17

“My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:” (Proverbs 1:15 KJV)

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) Viera Wetlands 12-26-17

The Tricolored Heron never moved his feet. They were planted solidly on those plants. Our Lord, when he created the birds, gave them quite a variety of feet. The feet this Heron was given works very well for holding steady.

Tricolored Heron Close up of feet – Viera Wetlands

When you first look at the foot, it looks like other bird feet. Yet, when it needs to anchor on those plants. It works very well.

Tricolored Heron’s Foot

Whether you are young or older, friends may try to encourage you to do something that you know you shouldn’t. Either your parents, teachers, and especially the Bible have taught you right and wrong. Hold on and “refrain” [don’t do it] from doing the wrong thing.

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17 KJV)

Bible Birds – Herons

Wordless Toucan

 

Overwhelmed!

Watching Birds at MacDill AFB Shore by Lee

I apologize for overwhelming many of you with all those posts I released the other day! I wasn’t sure how to return them from the Birds of the Bible for Kids any other way.

If you missed the explanation, I am in the process of closing the “Kids” blog and returning those post and pages back here. Since then, I have been banging around behind the scenes. I have been able to return many that were here, but inactive. Those were completed without OVERWHELMING you.

American Wigeon flocks

So far, these have been returned and are active here:

Scripture Alphabet of Animals:

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ant
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ass (Donkey)
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Bear
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Bee
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Camel
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Dog
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Eagle
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Fox or Jackal
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Goat
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Hart and Hind
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Horse
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ibex or the Wild Goat
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Jerboa or Mouse
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Kite
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Leopard
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Lion
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Locust
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Mole
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Night-Hawk
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ostrich
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Peacock
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Quail
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Raven
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Roe or Gazelle
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Scorpion
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Sheep
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Turtle-Dove
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Unicorn
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Whale
Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Wolf

Bible Birds

Other

STAY TUNED!

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) by Africaddict

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) by Africaddict

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The vulture is called a bird of prey, because it lives on flesh; but it has not such strong claws as the eagle, to seize and tear its food. It does not often kill other animals; but preys upon those that have been killed in some other way, or have died of themselves. It is a disagreeable bird, and one that you would not like very well to see; no wonder the Israelites were forbidden to eat it. It is about a yard long from the top of its head, and it sometimes measures two yards across the wings.

Black Vultures at Saddle Creek by Lee

Black Vultures at Saddle Creek by Lee

It lives only in warm or hot climates, and there it is very useful, though you might at first be puzzled to think how this can be. It is because it lives upon such things as would be very injurious to man if they were left to decay in the open air. It not only consumes the dead bodies of animals, but takes away many things from the streets of the cities which the inhabitants are too indolent to remove. It is for this reason that in the city of Cairo, in Egypt, there is a law forbidding any person to kill a vulture. These birds sometimes follow an army, and prey upon the bodies of those poor soldiers who have been killed in battle. Ah ! it is a sad thing to go to war; almost every thing about it is sad.

The vulture has a very keen eye, and, like the eagle, can see what is on the ground, even when it is very high in the air. This is referred to in the book of Job.

There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen.

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) by Nikhil

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) by Nikhil

It often happens in those countries that almost as soon as an ox, or a horse, or any other large animal has been killed, great multitudes of vultures will gather around, though not one could be seen in the sky before. they seem to fly down from every part of the heavens, and being to pull and struggle for the flesh of the animal; until in the course of a few hours nothing is left but the bones. We read in Isaiah,

There shall the vultures be gathered, every one with her mate.

This must have been written by one who had seen these birds coming together, as they do in great flocks or companies.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Vulture

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Nave’s Topical Bible – Vulture

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Turtle-Dove

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil Devasar

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil Devasar

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Turtle-Dove

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

This is a very beautiful and innocent bird, and no one is mentioned more frequently in the Bible. It does not live upon the flesh of animals: so when Noah sent one out of the ark, she soon came back again, because she could find nothing to eat, and no rest for the sole of her foot. Noah put out his hand and gently took her in, and she did not go out again for a whole week. Then Noah let her fly, and the beautiful creature came back in the evening, having in her mouth a green leaf which she had plucked from an olive-tree; as though she wanted to tell him that the waters were beginning to dry up. After another week she went out, and did not come back again to the ark, because the earth was dry.

Dusky Turtle Dove (Streptopelia lugens) ©WikiC

Dusky Turtle Dove (Streptopelia lugens) ©WikiC

The dove was often offered as a sacrifice in ancient times; and was a type of our innocent Savior, to show how he would afterwards be put to death for the guilty. The Holy Spirit once condescended to take the form of a dove, when he rested upon Christ at the time of his baptism. Our Savior speaks of the innocence of this bird when he says to his disciples,

I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

This bird has a very sweet but mournful voice; and this is referred to in the Bible. Hezekiah, one of the Jewish kings, had been very sick and expected to die; but as he lay on his bed, he prayed that God would be pleased to spare his life. God heard his prayer, and promised that he should live fifteen years longer; and soon after he became quite well. He was grateful to God for his goodness, and wrote a beautiful song of praise to be sung in the temple. Among other things he told how he felt when he lay so sick upon his bed. He says,

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove.

Adamawa Turtle Dove (Streptopelia hypopyrrha) ©WikiC

Adamawa Turtle Dove (Streptopelia hypopyrrha) ©WikiC

The turtle-dove is a bird of passage. It appears in Judea early in the spring, when the leaves are coming out, the flowers opening, and every thing looking lovely and beautiful. This will explain some verses in the Song of Solomon,

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away, for lo ! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (or turtle-dove) is heard in our land.

It remains until summer is gone; and then flies away to a warmer climate to spend the winter. It is in reference to this that David says,

Oh ! that I had wings like a dove ! for then would I flee away, and be at rest; lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness; I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

You will find these beautiful verses in the 55th Psalm.

Who would not wish to be like the gentle, peaceful dove?

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Doves and Pigeons

Columbidae Family – Pigeons, Doves

Nave’s Topical Bible – Dove, Turtle

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Dove

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork

Wood Stork at S. Lake Howard Nature Park

Wood Stork at S. Lake Howard Nature Park

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The Bible name of this bird means gentleness or affection, and the stork very well deserves such a name. It is very kind indeed to its young ones, and takes pains to find some things for them that it does not itself eat. It is said that when a house, on the top of which was a stork’s nest, once took fire, the mother bird would not fly away, because the young ones were not large or strong enough to go with her, and so they were all burned together. They are very kind to the old birds, too; and I have read that the younger storks sometimes carry the old ones on their wings when they have become tired with flying a great way; and bring food to them in their nests just as the old ones used to bring it to them. I am not quite certain that this is true, though many people have said so; but if it is, I am sure it is a beautiful example for every child, teaching him to repay his parents in every way he can for all their love and care.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) by Ian

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) by Ian

The stork is about a yard long from its head to the end of the tail; its color is white, excepting some of the great quill feathers, which are black. Its nest is large and flat, and made mostly of sticks; the eggs are about as large as those of a goose, and a little yellowish.

It does not sing; the only noise it makes is by striking one part of its bill upon the other. While it is sleeping it stands on one leg, with its neck bent backward, and its head resting between its shoulders. The Jews were forbidden by God to use the stork for food; perhaps this was because it lives upon such animals as frogs, fishes and serpents.

The stork is a bird of passage; it spends the summer in Holland and other countries in the north of Europe, but flies to a warmer climate before cold weather comes. They seem to have a kind of agreement among themselves about starting on these long journeys; and for a fort-night before they are ready, they may be seen collecting in great numbers-then all take to their wings at once. This explains a verse in the eighty chapter of Jeremiah,

The stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times;

that is, her times of going to a warmer climate or returning.

Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) by Ian

Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) by Ian

After the winter has gone, the storks fly back to their summer home, and very often take their old nests again. In Europe, these are generally made on the tops of houses or old chimneys, and the birds are so gentle and harmless that the people never disturb them, but are glad to see them come back. In some countries the roofs of the houses are flat, and the people walk and sleep on them; in these places the storks often build their nest on the flat branches of some spreading tree. In the 104th Psalm we read,

As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Storks

Ciconiidae Family – Storks

Nave’s Topical Bible – Stork

 

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Raven

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Raven

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The raven has always been very well known to man, and is mentioned almost at the beginning of the Bible. You remember that this was the first bird that Noah sent out of the ark to see whether the waters had begun to dry up; and that it did not go back to him again. I suppose it was very glad to be at liberty after it had been shut up more than a year; and as it lives upon the flesh of other animals, it probably found food enough from the bodies of those that had been drowned.

Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus)Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

It is a large bird, considerably larger than the crow; and its feathers are very black, very glossy, and very beautiful. People in ancient times seem to have liked a black color, and were especially pleased with black hair; so we read in the Song of Solomon, where one who is beautiful is described, “His locks are bushy, and black as a raven.”

It is said that the raven always attacks the eye of an animal first; seeming to prefer that to every other part. This may explain one of the verses in Proverbs,

The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

It has been the custom, in many countries, to hang those who have been guilty of great crimes on a tree or on a gallows in the open air; and there to leave the body for the birds to peck at and devour if they chose. I suppose this verse means that stubborn and disobedient children, or those who are not kind and respectful to their parents, must expect to come to some sad end; and they very often do so.

I have heard that the raven drives out its young ones very early from the nest, almost before they are able to seek their food. This may explain a verse in the Psalms,

The Lord giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry;

and another in Job,

Who provideth for the raven his food ? when his young ones cry unto God, wandering for lack of meat.

Our Savior speaks of this bird in the 12th chapter of Luke, “Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; they have neither store-house nor barn; and God feedeth them.” He was speaking to his disciples, and it was as much as to say,

If God takes care of the ravens, he will certainly take care of you; so you need not be anxious or afraid.

Brown-necked Raven of Israel

Brown-necked Raven, Israel ©WikiC

Have you read in the Bible how a good prophet’s life was once saved by ravens? The people who were living then were very wicked, and would have been glad to kill the prophet Elijah; so God told him to go into the wilderness and live there alone by the side of a small brook. Elijah went to the brook, and there was water enough for him to drink, of course, but no food to keep him from starving. You may be sure that God did not forget his servant; but you would hardly believe, if it was not in the Bible, that he would send the ravens to carry food to him. Yet so it was:

the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

It is supposed that he was fed in this way for as much as a year. It was a long time to stay there by himself; but I do not think he was lonely or afraid, for he loved God, and felt sure that He was always near him, even in the wilderness.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Ravens

Corvidae Family – Crows, Jays, Ravens

Nave’s Topical Bible – Raven

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Raven

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Quail

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) Asian Blue by Kent Nickell

King Quail (Excalfactoria chinensis) by Kent Nickell

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Quail

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)
The quail is about the size of a pigeon. It is called a bird of passage, because it does not always live in the same place, but spends the winter in one country, and in the spring flies away to another. In their journies, they fly together in very large flocks, as you have perhaps seen wild geese or pigeons do. A great many spend the summer north of the Black Sea, and when autumn comes they fly away to spend the winter in some warmer place, farther south. They usually start early some fine evening in August, when there is a north wind to help them on, and fly perhaps a hundred and fifty miles before morning. The people on the opposite shore of the Black Sea know about what time to look for them, and catch a great many of them for food.

Californian Quail by Ian

Californian Quail by Ian

God sometimes sent quails to the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. Once they complained because they had no meat to eat, pretty soon after God had saved them from the hand of Pharaoh; and then he brought a great many quails into their camp, so that they had as many as they wanted for food. At another time, when they were on their journey, these ungrateful people complained again, and wished they were back in Egypt, where they could have “fish, and melons, and cucumbers,” as they said. Then God saw fit to send them quails again, though he was very much displeased with their wickedness; so much so that he sent a dreadful sickness among them, of which many died. The Bible says,

And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails; he that gathered least, gathered ten homers; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

Painted Buttonquail (Turnix varius) by Ian

Painted Buttonquail (Turnix varius) by Ian

The number of these quails was very wonderful. They covered the ground all around the camp, and as far every way as a person could go in a “day’s journey,” by which they meant twenty miles or more. And they not only covered all that ground, but were piled upon each other, to the height of more than a yard. The people gathered great quantities of them; probably they intended to dry a part, which is still a custom in those hot and sandy countries. “He that gathered least,” we read, “gathered ten homers.” A homer was about eight bushels, or as much as an ass could carry at a load; and ten homers, of course, was about eighty bushels. You see how eager the people were to get them, for they could not even sleep at night through fear that they should not have as many as they wanted; so they stood up to gather them “all that day, and all that night, and all the next day.”

These things are several times spoken of in other parts of the Bible, especially in the 78th Psalm. It is there said,

He rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea. And he let it fall in the midst of the camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled, for he gave them their own desire; but while the meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them.

Perhaps it was not wrong for the children of Israel to ask for meat to eat, but God was displeased with them for their complaining spirit notwithstanding all his goodness; and although he gave them what they asked, it proved to be only a curse to them. This may teach us to be grateful for the thousand blessings that God has given us, and when we ask any thing from him, to be willing that he should deny us if he sees best.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Quail

Odontophoridae Family – New World Quail

Phasianidae Family – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies

Turnicidae – Buttonquail

Nave’s Topical Bible – Quail

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Peacock

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Peacock

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The peacock is first mentioned in the Bible in the time of Solomon. He used to send his vessels to distant countries, and they came back once in three years,

bringing gold, and silver, and ivory, and apes, and peacocks

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Daves Birding Pix in Backyard

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Daves Birding Pix in Backyard

Solomon was the richest among all the kings that the Bible tells us about. When he first became king God spoke to him in a dream, and told him to ask for any thing he wished. If God should speak so to you, what would you ask for?

Solomon did not pray that God would make him rich, or that he would give him health, or let him live a great many years on the earth; but he said,

I am a little child, I know not how to go out or come in. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart

Then God was pleased with what he asked, and besides giving him great wisdom, he gave him also riches and honor. He had forty thousand horses, and silver and gold in abundance. All the vessels used in his house were of gold, because silver was not good enough; it was “as stones” for plenty, and was “nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.” In the second chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon himself speaks of his riches, and after telling us of some of his treasures, he says:

Whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy.” Perhaps you think he must have been perfectly happy, if any man in this world ever was; but what does he say?

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

All is vanity and vexation of spirit.” This does not sound much like being contented. No, dear child, these are not the things that make us happy; nothing but the true love of God in the heart can do this.

There are many peacocks in India, and large flocks of them are sometimes seen around the temples; they also live among the bushes near the banks of rivers. They sometimes rest on high trees, but always make their nests on the ground, under the shrubs.

There was once a foolish and wicked emperor who cared little for any thing excepting “what he should eat, and what he should drink, and wherewithal he should be clothed.” He took great pride in telling how much his dinners cost, and how much trouble it gave people to prepare them. One of the dishes that pleased him, because it cost money enough, and time and trouble enough, was made up of the tongues of flamingoes, (a kind of bird,) and the brains of peacocks-do you envy such a king as that?

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

The peacock is a very splendid bird; its colors are most rich and beautiful. The feathers of the tail are often more than a yard long, and when they are spread out in the sunlight, like a great fan, nothing can be more elegant. Yet with all its beauty I do not believe you could ever love a peacock, as you love a lamb or a dove. It seems selfish and vain, and there is nothing lovely about it-its voice is very harsh and disagreeable. There are some people who, like the peacock, are called handsome or beautiful, but whose hearts are not pure and lovely in the sight of God. “Beauty,” in itself, “is vain;” but “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price.”

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Peacocks

Phasianidae Family – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies

Nave’s Topical Bible – Peacock

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ostrich

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) by Bob-Nan

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) by Bob-Nan

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Ostrich

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The ostrich is sometimes called the “camel-bird,” because it is so very large, because it can go a long time without water, and because it lives in desert and sandy places, as the camel does. It is often taller than the tallest man you ever saw, and it neck alone is more than a yard in length.

Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) by P Kwong

Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) by P Kwong

Each of the wings is a yard long when the feathers are spread out; but although the wings are so large, the bird cannot fly at all. One reason of this is, because it is so very heavy, and another is that its wings are not of the right sort for flying. They are made of what we call ostrich-plumes, and if you have ever noticed these beautiful feathers, you will remember that they are very different from others that you have seen. If you take a quill from the wing of a goose, you will find that the parts of the feather lie close together, so that you cannot very easily separate them; but in an ostrich plume they are all loose and open, and would not support the bird at all in flying. The feathers are generally either white or black. There are none under the wings, or on the sides of the body, and only a few small ones on the lower part of the neck. The upper part of the neck, as well as the head, is covered with hair.

Its feet are curious, and different from those of most birds. They are somewhat like the foot of the camel, having a soft pad or cushion underneath, and only two toes. The largest toe is about seven inches long, and has a broad claw at the end; the other is about four inches long, and has no claw.

Although this bird cannot fly, it can run faster than the swiftest horse. If it would keep on in a straight line no animal could overtake it; but it is sometimes so foolish as to run around in a circle, and then, after a long chase, it may perhaps be caught. A traveller speaking of the ostrich, says,

She sets off at a hard gallop; but she afterwards spreads her wings as if to catch the wind, and goes so rapidly that she seems not to touch the ground

This explains what is meant by the verse,

When she lifteth up herself on high she scorneth the horse and his rider.

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Closeup by WikiC

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Closeup by WikiC

The ostrich has but little to eat in the desert places where it lives: only some coarse grass, or rough, thorny plants, with a kind of snail which is sometimes found upon them; and perhaps it sometimes eats lizards and serpents.

The voice of the ostrich is very mournful, especially when heard at night in a lonely desert. It is said to be like the crying of a hoarse child. It is on this account that the prophet Micah says,

I will make a mourning like the ostrich.

In the 39th chapter of Job we read,

Gavest thou wings and feathers unto the ostrich ? which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in the dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She is hardened against her young ones as though they were not hers

See how well this agrees with the accounts given by travellers. They say that the ostrich is frightened by the least noise, and runs away from her nest, leaving the eggs or young ones without any protection; and very often she does not return for a long time, perhaps not until the young birds have died of hunger. The eggs are cream-colored, and large enough to hold about a quart of water. The shell is very hard, and as smooth as ivory. It is often made into a drinking-cup, with a rim of gold or silver.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Bible Birds – Ostrich

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Ostrich

Struhionidae – Ostriches

Nave’s Topical Bible – Ostriches

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Ostrich

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Night-Hawk

Common Nighthawk by Neal Addy

Common Nighthawk by Neal Addy

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Night-Hawk

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)
I believe this is the only animal of any kind mentioned in the Bible, the name of which begins with N. It is named in the 11th chapter of Leviticus, among other birds, such as the owl, the cuckoo and the raven, which the children of Israel were not allowed to eat.

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, (Leviticus 11:16 KJV)

Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus) by ©Judd Paterson

Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus) by ©Judd Paterson

It is somewhat like the owl in its shape, and in its large, full, round eyes. It flies at evening, and hides itself during the day from the bright light of the sun. It likes to live in lonely, dark woods, and when it comes out at twilight to get the insects that it lives upon, you could hardly hear the sound of its wings, it flies so very gently. It has a very wide, gaping mouth, which helps it to seize upon moths and flies, and its mouth is bordered with a row of stiff bristles, so that the insects may not escape again after they have been caught.

The night-hawk belongs to the same family with the whip-poor-will; and, like that bird, it places its eggs on the ground in the shade of some thicket, with only a layer of withered leaves under them instead of making a nest.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Nighthawks and Nightjars

Caprimulgidae Family – Nightjars

Nave’s Topical Bible – Night hawk

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Horse

Horse - Galloping Bashkir curly©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Horse

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

There is a fine description of a war-horse in the book of Job-a book which some think to be the oldest in the world. It is in the thirty-ninth chapter.

Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? The glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him; the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains and the shouting.

Horse -Zarcohm Roman nose

Horse -Zarcohm Roman nose ©WikiC

In the fifth chapter of Judges you will find this verse.

Then were the horse-hoofs broken by the means of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones.

And it seems likely from this, that it was not the custom to shoe horses in those days, so that their hoofs were more easily broken.

They had horses in Egypt in very ancient times, as you will find if you read the first part of the book of Exodus. You will see there how the children of Israel escaped from Egypt, after they had been kept in hard bondage a great many years; and how when they had gone only a short distance, the wicked king Pharaoh went after them to try to get them back. There was a great company of the Israelites, men, women and children; they had nothing to ride on, and had their flocks and herds with them, so that they could not go very fast. They took the course which God directed, and it brought them to the Red Sea, where there were neither boats nor bridges for them to go over.

Horse- Ferghana War Horse©WikiC

Ferghana War Horse©WikiC

Just then they heard that Pharaoh and his army were coming after them. Some came in chariots of war, and of these there were six hundred drawn by horses; and a great many more came on horseback. Now what could these people do? If they went on, they would be drowned; and if they went back, or stayed where they were, they would fall into the hands of the Egyptians. God told them not to be afraid, for he would take care of them; so he divided the waters of the sea, and made a dry road for them to go through, while the water stood up like a wall on each side of them. Then the Egyptians followed on, and God let the waters flow down upon them, so that they were all drowned. Think what a sight it must have been, when the chariots, and horses, and men, were all surrounded by that great, mighty water, and then sunk down one after another, so that they could be seen no more. The children of Israel sang a psalm of praise after God had saved them in this wonderful manner, and these words are a part of it:

Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

In one of the last chapters in the Old Testament you will find these words,

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.

This speaks of a time which has not yet come, but for which christians are looking, when this world will not be wicked as it now is; but when every thing, even the bells of the horses, shall be holy unto the Lord.

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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Horse

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Horse

(Photos ©WikiC)

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